How to Use TALK at Your Library

TALK questions or issues? Fill out the Contact Us Form or email us at

Registering/Making Changes to Subscriber Accounts

Registering for TALK

Parents and caregivers with children 5 and under can subscribe to TALK on their own by texting the word TALK to 75547.  

  • This triggers a series of text messages that prompt them to set their language preference (English or Spanish), enter their child’s birthdate (up to two children can be registered to one phone number), enter their ZIP code, and set their home library from a short list within that ZIP code.   

Alternatively, parents and caregivers—or library staff on behalf of patrons—can fill out the form at to subscribe to TALK. Users are then able to finalize their registration by responding to a text message within four hours.  

Updating Subscriber Accounts

Subscribers can use keywords found on the FAQ on their own to add a second child, change their language preference, or stop receiving TALK messages.  

Library staff can also make these changes to subscriber accounts: 

  1. Log in to your MCLS TALK account and click on Manage Subscriber Accounts. 
  2. Enter the subscriber’s phone number with no spaces or dashes to locate their account. 
    • Click Opt Out if the subscriber no longer wishes to receive messages.  
  3. Click on Edit to view the account. 
    • If the subscriber wants to receive text messages but not images, make sure the Receive MMS messages? box is NOT checked.  
    • If they tried to sign up but are not receiving messages, make sure all information is correct and the Registration is Incomplete box is NOT checked.  
    • Change any other information as needed such as the ZIP code, library, language preference, or child’s birthdate. 
    • Click on Submit to save changes.  

Communicating with Your TALK Subscribers

In addition to the automatically-generated text messages your subscribers receive twice a week with activity suggestions, libraries can use their MCLS TALK account to create and send two messages each month to subscribers in their library’s service area. Libraries can use their messages to inform parents and caregivers about upcoming library programs, unique materials, and other early literacy programs. 

Libraries can also see and respond to messages from subscribers sent via the TALK messaging system.

Send Text Messages About Library Events & Services

  1. Log in to your MCLS TALK account and click on Schedule Event Texts. 
  2. There are detailed instructions at the top of the page.
  3. Send the message to all subscribers in your service district, or choose the specific age group(s) and ZIP code(s) you want. 
  4. When composing a message, keep the following in mind: 
    • Text messages can contain no more than 160 characters, including spaces. Check the Character Count below the message box. 
    • Each message begins with the prefix EVENT: or EVENTO:, which uses 6 or 7 characters. 
    • Include a URL link that directs subscribers to your website. It can be shortened to 22 characters with a URL shortener. We recommend Bitly and provide a link on the page. 
    • Be sure to include specific location information if your library has more than one branch. 
    • To make the most of your two messages, consider sending a link to your storytime webpage instead of one calendar link to a specific storytime. 
    • Spanish Messages 
      • You MUST include a text message in the Spanish Text Message box or your Spanish subscribers will receive a blank text. 
      • To translate your message to Spanish, you can use Google Translate if you have a Spanish speaker who can check the translation for accuracy. 
      • Use only standard English keyboard characters because accents or diacritics don’t work well with the TALK service provider. 
      • If you cannot provide a message in Spanish, copy and paste the English message you composed into the Spanish textbox using the Duplicate English Text button. 
  5. Click on the calendar icon in the Choose Send Date field to choose the date you want to send the message.  
    • You can schedule in advance to advertise a season of library programs, but you can only schedule two per month.  
  6. In the Choose Time drop-down, select the time you want the message to send.  
    • Note: Regular TALK activity text messages go out at 10:15 am or 4:15 pm, so the times you can choose are limited to not overlap. Be sure to select your time zone as well.
  7. Click Submit.  

Editing Library/Message Text

Your upcoming and past messages can be viewed by clicking the Scheduled and Past Event Messages button at the top of the page. Scheduled messages can be edited or deleted from this page.

Responding to Subscriber Messages

Occasionally, subscribers react or respond to TALK messages, and they may ask a question. Messages and reactions from subscribers in your service area will automatically be delivered to the email on your primary TALK account.  

  1. Respond to the messages by logging into your MCLS TALK account and click on View All Messages 
  2. When you locate the message you want to respond to, click on Reply next to the message.  
  3. Enter your response in the Reply Message textbox.  
    1. Remember that only 160 characters are allowed, check the character count in the lower right hand corner below the textbox.  
  4. When you have finished composing the message, click on Reply to send the message.  
  5. After you reply, your message will no longer appear in the list. Click View Past Messages to find the messages you have already replied to. 

Click on Delete to remove any messages that were mistakenly sent. 

Data & Reports

Your MCLS TALK account allows you to see how many subscribers living in your library’s service area zip codes are receiving TALK messages and gather information about your subscriber registration and participation.

Viewing Data & Reports

    1. Log in to your MCLS TALK account and click on Reports. 
    2. Choose a Registration Start Date and Registration End Date 
    3. In the Age Groups field, you can select specific age groups. Leave that field blank to get results for all age groups.  
    4. Use the Language drop-down to select from All Languages, English, or Spanish/English.  
    5. Click on Run Report to view results. 
      • Numbers for both adults and children are available. These numbers are different because a parent might receive messages for two children with different birth dates. You will also see data for each ZIP code you serve. You can also see how many subscribers have opted out of TALK and how many children received TALK messages until they graduated when they turned 6. 
    6. Optionally, click on Download Report to download a spreadsheet of the report results.  

Managing Staff TALK Accounts

The primary MCLS TALK library account holder can schedule event messages, see data, and also create accounts for other library staff so that they have the ability to schedule event messages and see data.  

Adding Additional Staff

  1. Log in to your MCLS TALK account and click Manage Library Accounts. 
  2. Enter in a Contact Name. 
  3. Enter in a Contact Email. 
  4. Enter in a Password.  
  5. Enter in that same password under Confirm Password. 
  6. Click Submit 
  7. Login credentials will be sent to the contact’s email address from MCLS when you submit the form.

Removing Staff

  1. Log in to your MCLS TALK account and click on Manage Library Accounts. 
  2. Click in the Username textbox and highlight the account you want to remove. 
  3. Click Delete and refresh the page.  
  4. The account will no longer display on the list.